Secret London: Stratford
Little Known Facts about Stratford
In 1600 the famous Shakespearean actor, theatre entrepreneur and comic Will Kemp, wagered he could dance from London to Norwich. Although it took a month to complete, he won his bet!
The 14th Century poet Geoffrey Chaucer mentions Stratford-atte-Bowe in his General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales when the narrator gently mocks the French accent taught in the local abbey.
During the 18th century, corn was brought from Essex to watermills and windmills in the area. The flour was used to bake large quantities of bread (for use in the City) in ovens fired with Epping Forest wood.
From 1824 Walter Hancock began experimenting with steam driven road transport. His workshop was just south of Stratford High Street. In 1832, his steam bus ‘The Infant’, set off from Stratford for Brighton.
The Doctor’s surgery at 121 The Grove, Stratford, has not always been used for what it was intended. In 1920 it became the Grove Picture Palace and was one of the very early cinemas in the country.